On February 3rd, The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority approved grants to two iconic institutions in Downtown Ann Arbor – the State Theatre and Ann Arbor Farmers Market.
Later this year, the Farmers Market will begin construction on a new structure that will expand market operations and improve community event space, particularly in the winter months. The DDA granted $175,000 to help construct this beneficial public project identified through the City’s Capital Improvement Plan and Market Advisory Commission. “The DDA’s grant provided crucial final funding needed to enable Parks & Recreation to move forward with this project,” said Market Manager Sarah DeWitt.
In its 97th season, the Farmers Market serves as a vital retail venue for local food producers to engage with the community every week of the year.
Later this year, the Michigan Theater Foundation will revitalize the historic State Theatre building – improving accessibility and adding new movie screens. The $200,000 DDA grant will be used to restore a vital piece of the downtown landscape, the Art Deco Marquee. Lee Berry, the Michigan Theater’s Chief Development Officer noted that, “The DDA’s important contribution enables us to complete the exterior restoration at the level of excellence that the downtown community deserves.”
The Michigan Theater Foundation purchased the second floor of the State Theatre in 2014 to preserve, restore, and operate the historic theater designed by renowned architect C. Howard Crane. The State is scheduled to re-open in early 2017.
These important projects will further the mission and goals of the DDA by improving the pedestrian experience, encouraging increased activity downtown, and enhancing the identity of the Kerrytown and State Street neighborhoods.